Though I was lucky enough to be visiting New Haven, Southern Connecticut whilst being of legal drinking age to enjoy some of the later activities to be offered by the city, you may not be. But there is so much on offer at this SCSU and in this town you will never run out of things to do. American youth are adept at sobriety, and damn, they do it well. Here I offer just some of the ways in which you can fully enjoy and appreciate the area, with no need for the troublesome liquor of Caliban’s downfall. So don’t be silly and try it on with America’s laws: take this opportunity to enjoy yourself in different ways…
Join Bookmarks: Bookmarks is a society currently presided over by an English Major called Urfa Kadeer. It is not a requirement to talk about books or even be an English Major, it’s just a starting point for meeting other students. Bookmarks host fun-filled evenings of frivolity such as murder mystery evenings, ugliest jumper parties (it will get cold if you’re abroad for the year, so pack both pretty and ugly jumpers), movie nights and poetry nights. These are special events but they also meet once a week to chat about literature, amongst other things. If you’re coming into the University slightly worried about meeting people, groups such as this will be a great way to meet people, make friends and be part of a support network for other students such as yourself. Also, as an English Major yourself, you should be getting into literary activities for the sake of your degree, so get there fast.
Eating with friends: It’s something which we all do, but it’s often saved for ‘occasions’ or catch ups. It’s slightly different here, piling in with a group of friends and going to a diner after class or for some State famous pizza is the norm (pizza is so important in New Haven, I had to write a separate post on it). New Haven is full of amazing food and not all of it is in downtown. Try eating at Bella’s in Westville for authentic American cuisine.
Or stop by the Arethusa Farm Dairy (near the Green) for their freshly-made ice-cream. You know those tubs we buy in supermarkets in the UK? Order a medium cone, you’ll get one of those to yourself…
Yale: Ok, so they have all the money, but oh my, they’re generous with it. They’ve got two art galleries full of pretty much everything you could ever want to look at, both of them free. They’ve got museums and libraries and … well – you can find out about it all here. And you can take in an hour of New Haven and Yale History with a guided tour of the campus.
I did not have the time to try everything on offer in New Haven and, if I’m honest, I doubt you will either, however long you’re going to be staying there. But here is a list, compiled by local lady Laurie Jarcho who works and lives in New Haven, to help out a student in need. (Btw, you should add chatting with friendly locals to your list of things to do…).
Yale Woolsey Hall – Night out for some classical music?
Events at the Yale Centre for British Arts – Often free and full of variety. Click the link for upcoming events.
Ice Skating at Blake Rink– November 1st – March 30th feel free to practice your Dancing on Ice routine.
Critical Mass – Join the large cycling community of New Haven. A great way to discover more of the city and the surrounding areas plus you’ll be socialising afterwards!
Quinnipiac River – (Scroll to the bottom of the page for your North Haven and New Haven information) – Canoeing and Kayaking in the New Haven area. Might be an idea to look for a Kayaking society in the University, of which I’m sure there is one.
Planetarium – Genuinely upset I did not get to explore time and space in another of Yale’s glorious additions to the city. It is a $5.00 entry price for non-Yale students. With public lectures, big telescopes and space exhibitions, what more could you ask for to open your mind? (And I am not saying you could lie about being an exchange student without an ID pass, you should not do that and save $5.00 whilst charming them with your accent. Shame on you, if you tried something like that.)
Arts and Ideas Festival If you’re staying around in New Haven during the summer months, you can attend the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, with over 85% of festival events completely free of charge! This year they had George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic for free on the New Haven Green! I can only imagine the funk for 2017.
Farmers Markets in Wooster Square – Worried about sourcing local foods? Maybe, maybe not. But the market could throw up some ingredients and dishes you’ve not thought of before and if you’re living here for a while, why not support the community?